Scouting & Filming Prospects

A. Arrival, Attitude and Your Approach.

*Important Note: You can also film practices, drills and demonstrated skills. If welcomed, this is a great chance to talk to the coach and get to know each other better. 
This valuable video content can truly help round out some missing pieces of the puzzle
that may remain with some of our prospects. Capturing player interviews  and contact information with scouting release forms can also me accomplished.

First of all, look the part, and know your way around the field to carry yourself like a coach. Get to your games 1 hour to 90 minutes early. This will give you time to set up, talk to coaches and make your presence known. You also may need time to engage coaches and get your nominations while at the game. Use the "Coach Nomination Form" to fill out and take notes in while in the field.  Be gracious and conversational.  Show your credentials at the gates, say hello, and professionally announce that you are here to scout the game.  Just keep on walking...do not stop of wait in line for tickets. On the fly, ask them, "are we ok?" or "we good?" and you should always be able to attend any contest for free. When approaching officials and coaches always thank them in advance "for their hospitality" and introduce yourself to EVERYONE you see with a smile on your face, offering your hand shake. Be professional and non-invasive.  Ask for permission or if there is room for you in the press box, etc.  Briefly explain you are with Video Scout and here to track nominated prospects for interested colleges and that you will send them a complimentary copy of your coverage for their hospitality. Remember that you are building relationships and you want the cooperation of all of these people so that always engage you and welcome you in the future. If you can not get names for whatever reason, resort to isolating Juniors on the teams rosters that you should have downloaded in advance from rosters on state interscholastic site of Max Preps and have in your possession if possible.
B. Where to Set Up & Tips, Sport by Sport:

    Baseball / Softball: (View video samples on our channel for all positions)

       • Film infield and outfield warm ups before game for each team from 1st base side just beyond the bag.

        • Film pitchers and Catchers throws the second base before innings begin.

        • 1st base side (2 innings): Film batters and baserunners after ball is in play.

        • Centerfield (2 innings): Film pitchers, catchers and batters and ball after contact.

        • 3rd base side (2 innings): Film batters and baserunners after ball is in play.

        • Capturing plays on wide shots of infield when no prospect at bat, pitching or catching.


     Football: (View video samples on our channel for all positions)

       • Above the press box, centered, between coaches and team cameramen who will usually be in the 
          corners or offset to one side or the other. 

       • Each play is a separate clip.  Start before the ball is snapped as the players approach the line and end
         after the whistle and after the players get up from the tackle and numbers can be identified.

       • Zoom out to show the formation briefly while players approach the line of scrimmage.

       • Quickly Zoom in on the O-line, D-Line, QB & any LBs close to the line of scrimmage BEFORE the snap.

       • On the snap of the ball you will get the point of attack and blocking. After a second or two, pull out wider
         to reveal the action and developing play.

       • As the players converge of the ball track and zoom back in on those players involved.

       • At the end of the play you should be completely zoomed in again on the tackle and those players getting
         up from making the play.

 This style can best be described as "OUT, IN, OUT, IN" You will get the complete game film for coaches but also get the close up iso needed on your prospects that no one else has or can produce. Tracking receivers and action downfield and anticipating battles between WR and DB on the line will take practice and knowing what plays (pass or run) may be getting called in advance.


      Basketball: 

        • Center court, top of bleachers or offset away from people, if possible. Film the offensive or defensive zones with the entire half court in the shot. 

        • Converge on the shooting action showing player, ball and hoop as your prospects make plays.

        • Film close up on guards, ball handling and defense in transitional zone from baseline to mid court.

        • Prospect film content can be further categorized and organized later on as:
          Ball Handling, Defense, Shooting, Passing and Driving to the Net.

      Hockey:

        • Center ice, top of bleachers or offset away from people or many ice rinks will have filming
          platforms built for videography.

        • This is the hardest sport because it is the fastest.  If you have specific nominated players it is best
          to just look for their shifts on the ice.  

        • Track your player from the moment they leave the bench until the time they skate off.  Each shift is
          only 1 to 2 minutes so this will result in a short, clean, "in camera edit" of your prospect's game.

        • You may have multiple players to track.  Try to keep each clip featuring one player.  This may
           result in missing a play unfortunately but we are scouting players, not filming games for
           a keepsake.  

        • Use your judgement.  You can get 2 defensemen at the same time as well as the goalie.  If you
          need to shift the action away from the player to another because of a turnover or a break away,
          go for it!

        • A lot of practice is needed to get good hockey film.  You will feel a tempo and flow that you will
          eventually match and mirror in your movements (that is hard to explain).  Professional camera and
          tripods are almost a necessity for this reason.

        • Be sure not to track your players too close, in a medium close frame, to see the player and what is
         happening around them. In all sports it is the person in relation to the puck or ball. So a safe
         approach is to film both and pull out if your player is on one side and the puck on the other.  How
         your players move in space and create space are also very important to show. As you get better,
         you can anticipate passes and pull out and zoom in accordingly for the best results.

 

     Volleyball:

         • Back rear corner of team or player(s) you are covering at floor level.

         • Show close ups on serves, net play, digs and setups where practical.

         • Look for player personalities between points and try to show the person, not just the player.

         • Change ends of the court, if you wish, between games.


      Field Sports (Soccer, Field Hockey, Lacrosse, etc)

         • Centered at top of bleachers. Note that many of these fields do not have grand stands so you will have
           to improvise and be creative for your best similar shot if this is the case.

         • Film these sports in the same manner and style as "hockey" is described above.

         • The key difference here is that players stay on for the entire game, unlike hockey, so be sire to keep
           your clips on each player to no more than 2-3 minutes of continuous action and then focus on another
           player in the same manner.

      Individual Sports: (Wrestling, Swimming, Golf, Tennis, etc.)

         • This is an easy one.  Track your prospect closely for the match.  Move around to show different angles to show an emphasis on their mechanics, swing, etc.  Take a clinical approach and try not to get caught up in the contest or try to "tell a story" This will result in a film that is too long and no coach will watch it. Keeping it simple is, sometimes, hard to do.

NOTE: With all sports and all of our prospects, the second time you come out to scout ONLY your signed           prospects, you will film ONLY that player.  When scouting, keep your eyes and ears open for all           possible players who may emerge but begin with high school coach nominations when possible.


C. Filming Operations. (Watching samples and Practice are suggested instead of just reading)

     You want to have a good FLUID tripod to smoothly track the action and follow the action of the game to get
     film that college coaches can actually evaluate from. Remember that we are filming players, not the game.

     Your coverage will show the game action with a MAJOR VARIATION that no one else is providing. You will       be isolating and close up on the nominated prospects you receive or choose to scout.  Each sport is a little
     different as to how to accomplish this and will require practice in order to be proficient and produce
     professional results. For this reason, many scouts hire professional videographers, who have experience
     shooting sports and who own equipment to film under their direction.

     You want to strive to perform "in camera editing", meaning all starts and stops should be clean and result
     in a self contained clip that is ready for posting and needs no further post production editing.

D. Managing Your Content.

    Make sure you have plenty of battery power and memory card space on your camera to complete the game.

    Take notes on key plays, assists and scoring clips.  The clips will be numbered in your camera so between the
    action you may want to write down those numbers. The "Coach Nomination Form" has areas for players, position,
    jersey number and notes. Use this from while in the field and pick up a clipboard that has storage inside for your
    paperwork including extra scouting release forms for handing out at your games to coaches or players.


E. Being Aware: Details Before, During & After Games.  

    Try to accomplish and capture the following while paying attention to detail of your prospects.

     • Ball in relation to player.
     • Handles.  This is extra film before and after the action to help in identifying formations, players, position,
       results or celebrations
     • Before and after the whistle. Showing the person. Sidelines, communicating with teammates and
      coaches.  Their attitudes, vibes and leadership potential. Are the a Field General between plays and while
      away from the action?

     • You can never say "Thank You" too many times.  Be gracious, professional, well spoken, courteous, accommodating and non-invasive.  Go with the flow and adjust to the working environment you may encounter and  tolerant of people.  Do not be abrasive, demanding or attempt to ever slow down or alter any contest for your benefit only.
 

"See You Between The Lines"